Zillow has re-entered the iBuying market.
After putting transactions on hold in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the iBuyer announced Monday that its instant offers service, Zillow Offers, is resuming in two Arizona and two North Carolina markets.
Homeowners in Phoenix; Tucson, Arizona; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Charlotte, North Carolina, can now receive an offer directly from Zillow to buy their home. The company said it expects to resume acquisitions in additional markets soon.
In March, as states were issuing stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the virus, home sellers who had pending contracts with Zillow got notices that those were being canceled. They were sent “Coronavirus Termination of Real Estate Agreement” from the iBuyer, offering a $5,000 incentive or payment of seller costs to put the house back on the market.
“We are excited to begin purchasing homes again, and making it even easier for home sellers to move – with new cleaning protocols and more virtual tools and services,” said Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman.
“These past two months have confirmed our belief that real estate is resilient. In fact, we’ve seen that people – despite these uncertain times – still want to move,” Wacksman continued. “Zillow Offers gives them a safe, seamless way to do so, whether selling or buying.”
In an investor call on May 7, Zillow executives said that the iBuying service would relaunch in the following weeks.
As Zillow re-enters the market during the pandemic, it said it also is launching a health-safety initiative to protect its customers, employees and partners.
“Move Forward. Stay Safe,” is the initiative that all Zillow-owned homes will follow, ensuring customer safety, the company said.
The CPD, or “Clean, Protect, Distance,” practice is what the company said it will rely on, as social distancing is still enforced.
Zillow said for-sale homes will undergo an additional cleaning regimen, and personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, will be recommended for all people entering the properties. Also, the number of in-person tours will be limited to allow for healthy distancing.
While Zillow Offers has resumed, there will be no open houses, the company said. Zillow said that prospective homebuyers can virtually walk through homes with its 3D home tours, request a virtual tour or consultation, and in some markets, can use self-tour technology to visit a home unassisted.